Friday, March 03, 2006

Daily Star calls marriage amendment "redundant and divisive"

The Arizona Daily Star just editorialized against the marriage amendment. This is from their own editorial board, not a guest opinion.

While it only hits a few of the problems with the amendment, what it did hit it hit well. Namely that the amendment is redundant and divisive and that the real reasons behind the amendment push don't hold any water.

Because existing law is so clear, and the alleged threat of action by "activist judges" so vague, we must look further for an explanation of this febrile preoccupation with overstating the obvious. We believe the push for a constitutional amendment is based on three conditions.

The first is that the Legislature may eventually feel pressured to rewrite or nullify existing law and legitimize same-sex marriage. The second is that the religious convictions of some should be applied to all of society. The third condition is the emotional revulsion that afflicts some heterosexual citizens when they encounter or even imagine homosexual behavior.

To the first of these conditions, we respond by noting that in a democracy Legislatures are elected for the express purpose of creating the laws that govern society....

In the rare event that Arizona did make same-sex marriages legal, that would not compel anyone who disagrees with that position to change his or her religious beliefs or practices.

To the second of these conditions, we note the well-established case law that supports a separation of church and state. The First Amendment gives us freedom to worship as we please. It does not give us freedom to create laws that impose our religious values on others.

To the third condition, we point out that laws must be an extension of a rational premise, not an emotional reaction. It is irrational — as Tucson and many other cities have concluded — to deny equal rights and benefits to partners in a same-sex relationship.

No one requires us to condone or like such relationships. We simply point out that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is often an emotional reaction and always an illegal one.


At 9:48 PM, Blogger Questing Parson said...

I've not completely formulated my thinking here, but after spending a decade as a pastor of an inner city church that was truly inclusive and around 30% gay, and now serving in a rural setting, after hearing the rants of those who want to "protect society against homosexuality", I'm coming to a conclusion that the proposal of such laws is really the result of a base desire to say "there has to be someone in society that is not as 'good' as me."

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not homosexuality is wrong, it does not seem wise to define things in terms of sexual intercourse. I'm sure that here are old married couples who no longer participate in coitus, does that mean their marrages are over?

As far as conservative Christianity, of which I consider myself a part, is concerned, labeling people primarily by their sexual activity forces them into that identity rather than transcending it. In the vice-lists usually used as refrences to homosexuality as a sin, the list says: "Neither perverts (in the general sense) nor idolaters, nor adulterers . . . homosexuals . . . ." How many perverts and adulterers are in our congregations? It seems the problem is that we recognize that this passage is pointing to these vices as the core identity of the people involved, not to simple behaviors, in the case of adultry or certain perversions, but not in the case of homosexuality.

Therefore, even if it is a sin, labeling the sinner as being equivalent to the sin forces sinners to become the very thing we don't want them to be: the embodiment of their sin.

Also, if homosexuality is wrong and homosexuals go to Hell, what is the worst case scenario for inclusivist churches? The worst case is that we have practicing sinners who are going to Hell in our churches. How would that be different from the current situation?

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Bad Methodist said...

That's always been my problem with the way homosexuality is treated, as if it's this thing that's sooooooo bad and separate from any other sin. If sinlessness were a requirement for being a Christian, there wouldn't be any Christians.

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, sinlessness is not a requirement to be a christian however resisting sin and not yielding to it is. "The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints" - G.K. Chesterton. If there are perverts, adulterers or homosexuals in congragations, the focus needs to be on stoppong the sinful behavior, not encouraging it. After all I don't think anyone would say to an alcoholic, "here, have a brewski - all you want" or to a thief, "there's some stuff over here you can lift". You are right about one thing - We should deplore and resist all sin, not just homosexuality.


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